Sunday, June 29, 2008

Booked until besotted

I have demons. Some might laugh at that. Most probably would.
My demons don't have anything to do with gambling - I have yet to touch a table game in Vegas. I rarely drink too much - I was barely buzzed during last December's gathering. And I've never done drugs, except for a bit of pot, and that was years ago and was never, ever even remotely a problem.
No, my demons come from that little person inside that whispers to me whenever I do something like attend a gathering of bloggers.
"You know," the person whispers, "what makes you think you'll fit in?"
I can climb any mountain in Colorado, run a half marathon or ski a black diamond (sometimes, not very well), but going out to see a group of people still scares me.
I'm booked for my December trip. I'm going alone this year. I'm heading out Thursday and I'll leave Sunday afternoon. It'll be a nice vacation.
I may have to rage solo Thursday. I hope not but if that's the case, I'm set for that. But I hope it's not the whole trip.
Now I'm not totally concerned about that, but I remember last year, I had Mr. High on Poker as a roommate, and it was nice to have a set crew to hang with, someone to check in with during the whole trip. As pathetic as it sounds, Jordan was my security blanket, and it made me comfortable to meet a bunch of new people without breaking out in hives.
My anal, planning personality already wants to know who's doing what and when, so I know I won't be stuck out there among groups of friends who already know each other.
Stupid. I feel needy, and I've always prided myself on not being needy. I hate needy people. Yet...I'm kinda being needy.
The wild thing is I love being alone. If you'd read this blog for more than two weeks, I've probably made that pretty clear.
As I was writing this yesterday, Andie got up five times in an hour, and the last time I got her, she looked at me and just lay her head on my shoulder.
That's OK, sweetie. I understand. I guess everyone needs some reassurance every once in a while.

P.S. I did book a double bed, so if someone wants to room with me, I may take offers. E-mail me or comment in the story. Although room rates were only $200 for three nights. Pretty nice.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Review of Motley Crue's new album

Motley Crue, America's poets, are back with a heartfelt collection of songs to soothe the soul.
Entitled "Saints of Los Angeles," this tribute to their glory days as soothsayers reflects the triumphs of their past life. The all-white cover, simply decorated with a cross, truly reflects the deep, spirit-searching lyrics that await you.
With songs entitled "This ain't a love song, this is a fuck song" and "Motherfucker Of The Year," these tunes speak to your heart and show the deep, personal-yet-political poetry we've come to expect from the authors of past classics "Ten Seconds to Love," "Girls, Girls, Girls" and "She Goes Down."
These songs will require numerous listens before you can truly capture the thoughts it took to write such deep, heart-rendering lyrics.
Of course, the music is a treasure, too, soft, succulent and soothing, with enough spirit and soul to cleanse whatever might be ailing you during these troubled times.
When you live the kind of clean, wholesome lives these boys have lived - with Sixx's heroin overdose, Vince Neil's nationally televised plastic surgery and appearance on "The Surreal Life," Tommy Lee's sex tapes and Mick Mars emergence from Satan's armchair - you can help but produce the kind of healing music the Crue continue to bring forth with every album.

P.S. (Real Review) The cross is made up of naked women. This album totally kicks ass and reminds me of the good 'ole days. Seriously, go buy it now.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Stardom is inevitable

By far the cutest cover for Twins Magazine hit the stands today.

Here it is.

Do you recognize those two girls?
I do.
I see them every day.

You can order your copy here. Order fast. They'll be worth something someday.
At least they will to me.

P.S. I write for the magazine too. I'll have the cover story for the next issue. I had the cover story for the last issue as well. Kate and the grandparents were about 10 percent as excited about that fact as they were about this cover.

Monday, June 23, 2008

The king is dead, long live the comedian

Carlin's death was a shock to me. I interviewed him a couple years ago for the Greeley Tribune when he performed here.
You can see the story here.

I hope the three of you (maybe) who bothered to read my project below enjoyed it. Scroll down and click on the link if you're curious. And the needy writer in me hopes you are.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

One Last Chance

I followed this woman for eight months in between covering fairs and interviewing Tim McGraw and Poison.

Can you at least take a look at it?

One Last Chance

P.S. For those of you who will look at the length and think, "Nah, I'd rather watch repeats of Lost so I can see what 12th-century poem this scene is referring to," I don't blame you.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

We're not as good as you (Obv)

I'm not sure what's worse, the fact that the girls still aren't sleeping through the night, or the looks some smug parents give us when we talk about the twins' sleeping habits.
I don't think there's a more judgmental group of folks than parents. Maybe right-wingers. Maybe other poker players. Maybe bloggers.
Kate had tears rolling down her face this morning, and I think it was because of our battle last night with Andie. I know I'm whining here, but sometimes life really isn't fair. We've got twins. It's been a year. A year. I think we deserve a break and some sleeping through the night. If that wasn't enough, it took Jayden a year-and-a-half before he graced us with eight hours of sleep at a time.
I think we've paid our dues.
I know. You're probably raising your eyebrow. It's OK. Others do, too, like one of Kate's friends, who's 10-week-old baby is already sleeping from 9 p.m. to 10 a.m.
"What are you doing wrong?" she asked Kate, or she at the very least ACTED like she asked Kate that when Kate talked about our struggles with Andie, who continues to need a couple feedings a night and screamed for a half hour at 2 a.m. last night.
And i think that's why Kate was crying this morning. She was frustrated, sure, but it's the little, paper-cut looks and comments from her "friends" that just make it that much worse.
Sometimes life is not only fair, it just plain sucks.
It's especially frustrating to me because every run, every race and probably every climb - we'll find out this weekend, when I lead my 14ers group up our first mountain of the season - I battle a crushing fatigue, like I've got a tire tied to my ass. When I have slept well one or two times this month, the fatigue is gone and I run really well. So all I need is sleep, and I'm still not getting it.
Last week we took a break for the weekend for Kate's birthday. We went out to dinner, saw Indiana Jones (which sucked) and stayed in a swanky hotel in downtown Denver. Alone. Without the kids.
It was wonderful even if Kate's younger brother said, "Oh, dumping the kids off at Mom's and Dad's, eh?" I'm glad he didn't say that to me. Let's just say it would have made Thanksgivings uncomfortable.
Yes, it was wonderful, and yet sometimes weekends like that just make it that much harder to go back to the grind. In a way, a nice, relaxing time out just makes you miss them that much more.
Yes, we've talked to our doctor, and his answer was if they're going back to sleep after they eat - and usually they do - then they probably need the extra feedings.
So we don't know what to do other than let our kids cry it out, and after a half hour of it last night, my heart cracked and I went to get Andie, who was hysterical and sniffing and needed me to hold her before she fell asleep.
I guess I suck as a parent too.
Sorry if this seems angry. Sometimes I'm glad for a blog. I can vent to it (and you all) and maybe, possibly, feel better.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

I'm an uncle (again) and other exciting news

My brother had his second child, a boy this time (thank goodness, the clan was getting a little bit overrun with estrogen).
Kate and I drove down to see him Friday. His name is Brooker, which is my mother's maiden name. My middle name is Brooker. We're probably gonna call him Brooks, so he should be a great third basemen.
Here are three pictures. It's up to you to figure out what those faces mean.

Oh, and Ante Up!, the weekly poker podcast that features blogger Columbo with his always excellent one-minute mysteries features a hand of the week.
This week they used my hand! I was very excited. Now I can die. Well, maybe after the kids graduate from college.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Metalhead status called into question even further

I really, really, really love this song. I don't remember listening to a song this much since Gnarls Barkley's "Crazy."

This song probably belongs in a gay nightclub, and not just a gay nightclub, but the kind bathed in blue light, with Gray Goose martinis served as you walk in the door and velvet red pillows scattered on neon green couches.

I don't care. I love it.

P.S. My only saving grace? I'm also in love with Arch Enemy's "I Will Live Again."

Monday, June 09, 2008

Am I still metal despite this cotton candy?

Despite mother wondering why I haven't outgrown it, I am a true metalhead.
I do not have the look. Instead, I look like someone who might enjoy a Chicago concert, and not the cool early shit either, the "You're The Inspiration" years.
I do not have the metal girlfriend. I married a sensible, good Catholic girl who is the best Mom I've ever seen.
I do not have a drug addiction, although the implication that you need that to be a metal fan kind of pisses me off.
So never mind.
But I do have the desire. That's all you need. Mostly.
I do wonder, however. Am I metal enough? It's truly OK to enjoy a wide range of music, as I do. I do love pop music. Classical. Jazz. But jazz has a certain rebel element to it, and classical is brainy. There's really no excuse for pop except to like it.
Here are 10 songs I truly love that may, indeed, threaten my status as a metalhead:
1. Michael Jackson tunes - "Thriller" is a killer, and "Off the Wall" is off the hook. It's too bad the guy didn't die after "Thriller." He'd be a legend instead of the freak he is now.
2. Britney Spears' "Stronger." - The lyrics are good for running. "I'm stronger than yesterday..."
3. Olivia Newton John's "Magic" - Her "Grease" stuff is classic as well. But this song stays in my head every time I listen.
4. Christina Aguilera's "On Our Way" - This underrated classic is from her latest double album, which I got sent to me by a record company, probably because I do a lot of entertainment at the paper. I like the whole album. She's got pipes.
5. Young MC's "Bust A Move" - I'm not sure where hip-hop stands in the metal world. I think it still has some rebellous qualities to it, although it's also pretty commercialized these days. This goofy hit was popular in high school and I still like it.
6. Wham's "Careless Whisper" - That sax riff. Who can resist? I justify this by wanting to rip out George Michael's throat with a rusty fork every time I hear "Wake Me Up Before You Go Go."
7. The Carpenter's "Superstar" - I like a lot of the Carpenter's work, actually, and I think they might be hip enough to give me a pass, although they overdosed a lot on the syrup.

I'll leave it at 7. One of the twins is crying. Probably because she knows I'm listening to Wham.

Friday, June 06, 2008

There's a first time for everything

Including a day at the pool for the twins:

Thursday, June 05, 2008

I do not necessarily love to feel the rain in the summertime

I think God must have sent Noah a Yahoo message or something because the last couple of days around here have resembled a rainforest more than the arid climate we peakbaggers in Colorado are used to experiencing.
Seriously, the air is so dry here, even the guys who dig into streets with jackhammers all day use lotion. Unscented, of course.
So yesterday at noon it poured on us. It rained so hard I seriously thought someone in the sky forgot to turn their bathwater off. It only lasted a few minutes but it was enough to turn drains into waterfalls and make little lakes in the lawns.
So I thought I was free and clear for our intervals track session that night. As I left our house I changed my mind a bit, as the black sky and occasional bolts of lightning made me rethink my plans, but I surged on. When I got to our track, the rain had already started, but I figured it would clear up.
Um, no.
We started our drills with lighting crashing down (to the east of us, so for the most part it was safe) and the rain once again causing little lakes, this time on the track. I was skin-soaked by the second lap. By the third five-minute run, my legs felt like a cadaver's and my fingertips were blue. It seems almost impossible to get any wetter when you're soaked but somehow I was. The running probably spared me hypothermia.
I am a devoted little runner.
The girls were screaming when I got home - they had not let up for 45 minutes, a nice foreshadowing to the night to come - but I needed a warm shower pronto, so I ran upstairs, stripped and hopped in. Ahh. A warm shower after something like that has to be one of life's true, great pleasures.
I did pretty well in the non-BB3 Mookie, taking 10th, mostly because my K-K could not beat A-K (obv) near the end of the bubble (standard), but I was warm and, more importantly, dry, and that's all that mattered.
Softball is supposedly tonight, but the way it's raining today, they'd better just cancel it. I'm not really in the mood for two drowned rat sessions in a row.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Up and down, like a seesaw

The swings of playing three $50 NL cash games a night for months now is starting to wear me down, and I'm not sure how to fix it.
I just finished Harrington's "No Limit Cash Games Vol. I," and it's improved me, even if I don't agree with some of his advice and some of the advice is just obvious.
I'm winning more than ever.
The problem is, I'm also losing more than ever.
This is proof to me that I'm no longer the nitty player you all think I am. I'll gladly take that (still well-deserved) reputation, as it helps me steal blinds. But it's no longer completely true. In fact, after reading the book, I realize I was making some pretty stupid bets. I was being too aggressive, in other words.
I'll wait for you to finish laughing before I continue.
Still with me? OK. In the last three months, I've plumped up my bankroll, and that's because I've won and also taken advantage of Bodog's reload bonus. But the swings have been pretty wild. I might lose a buy-in or more when I lose, and when I win, I might win a couple.
Most of the losses, lately, have been coolers. I hesitate to say this because to me the term "cooler" is abused and overused. When your J-J loses to A-A after you've called an all-in post-flop and your stack was deep, that is not a cooler. When your straight loses to a paired board and you shove on the river, that is not a cooler. When you stack off with top pair, I don't care what happens, that is not a cooler. Those are bad plays. Period.
But lately I've lost my stack with a K-high flush (only three on the board) to an A-high flush, twice I've been setted over setted (yes, I had the smallest set possible) and I've lost pre-flop with K-K when it's run into A-A four times.
I dunno. Maybe those aren't coolers either.
I've also made some bad plays. I jammed with Q-Q on a low board when the other player was showing strength and of course he had a set. That was incredibly dumb in a cash game.
As I play in the final Bodog WSOP series tournament tonight, a tournament riddled with my mistakes, mistakes that cost me a seat in the freeroll, I'm wondering how to keep winning but keeping the losses down.
Any ideas?